Madison (WKOW) -- New findings give credence to the healing power of journal writing.
A recent cancer study shows putting your thoughts down on paper has a positive effect on your health.
Frank De Cicco lived to talk about his own battle with cancer.
When he lost his wife to the disease, he expressed himself in poetry.
He said, "in my chest, your death formed a stone, heavy, icy gray, for me to carry close all day."
It was his way of dealing with the loneliness and grief.
De Cicco added, "I think it's a good way of getting emotions out and, so that you don't keep them bottled up. Makes you, it just makes you feel good."
Writing clinician Nancy Morgan said, "believe me when, when pen goes to paper, you forget where you are. Your spirits lift."
Now a new study shows it also has a healing effect on the body.
Georgetown researchers asked patients in a busy cancer clinic to write about their disease - not factual stuff, but deep-down emotions.
Morgan added, "what we found was, of the 63 people who wrote, 60 felt that the writing changed the way they thought and felt about their cancer, for the better."
And in follow-up visits, the patients reported an improvement in their physical quality of life.
"Our studies have shown that writing about the way you feel about something, your thoughts that come as a result of this experience, make a huge difference in your quality of life, both emotional and physical," said Morgan.
It lets you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Frank De Cicco said, "I framed all kinds of remembrance pictures of you and me and hung them in every room. I just hated to see your absence. But now after a year, it's time, as they say, to let go."
Morgan has incorporated writing as part of the therapy at Georgetown's Lombardi Cancer Clinic.
Every Tuesday, patients in the infusion area receive a writing exercise.
She plans to do larger studies on the effects of writing in the future.